Index

National Airspace System: Problems Plaguing the Wide Area Augmentation
System and FAA's Actions to Address Them (Testimony, 06/29/2000,
GAO/T-RCED-00-229).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Federal Aviation
Administration's (FAA) Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), focusing
on: (1) difficulties in developing WAAS; (2) actions FAA is taking to
get the system on track; and (3) next steps for FAA to take to help
mitigate future delays in implementing WAAS.

GAO noted that: (1) FAA has underestimated the complexity of developing
WAAS, which has led to cost increases and schedule delays; (2) in 1994,
FAA estimated that it would cost $508 million to develop WAAS and
promised to begin implementing the system by 1997; (3) the agency did
not deliver on this promise, in part because of an aggressive schedule,
which proved difficult to meet when the agency ran into problems in
developing the WAAS design; (4) these problems led to the need for more
software development; (5) FAA is again experiencing difficulties--mainly
because of problems in meeting the system's key integrity
requirement--that WAAS would virtually never fail to warn pilots of
potentially hazardous misleading information; (6) GAO estimates that FAA
will not deliver on its initial promises until 2003 and may incur
additional costs of between $200 million to $240 million; (7) even
though FAA's analyses have shown that quantified benefits of WAAS
outweigh the costs, problems with the integrity requirement make this
conclusion less certain; (8) to get the program back on track, FAA is
taking a number of actions; (9) consistent with federal legislation
related to information technology investments, FAA is taking a more
incremental approach and in doing so is abandoning its high-risk
approach of combining different phases of system development in an
effort to more quickly implement systems; (10) FAA is also planning to
develop checkpoints at which it will reevaluate WAAS development before
making additional investments; (11) FAA is working more collaboratively
with the aviation community--airlines, equipment manufacturers, and the
Department of Defense--instead of making unilateral decisions about the
WAAS design; (12) to address the integrity problem, FAA is participating
in a team effort with its contractors and consultants to recommend
solutions that will prove the system's integrity performance by the end
of 2000; (13) while FAA's actions go a long way toward implementing
WAAS, GAO believes that additional steps are necessary to ensure that
FAA puts into place a framework to mitigate future delays and cost
increases; (14) FAA will need to develop a comprehensive plan that
incorporates the future checkpoints for the agency's investment in its
new navigation system; (15) it will be critical for this plan to require
FAA to revisit its investment if WAAS cannot perform as intended; and
(16) to provide Congress with assurances that FAA has addressed these
problems, GAO recommended that an external organization evaluate FAA's
progress at established checkpoints.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  T-RCED-00-229
     TITLE:  National Airspace System: Problems Plaguing the Wide Area
	     Augmentation System and FAA's Actions to Address
	     Them
      DATE:  06/29/2000
   SUBJECT:  Air traffic control systems
	     Navigation aids
	     Satellites
	     Schedule slippages
	     Information resources management
	     Cost overruns
	     Computer software
	     Strategic information systems planning
IDENTIFIER:  FAA Wide Area Augmentation System
	     Differential Global Positioning System
	     FAA Local Area Augmentation System
	     FAA Air Traffic Control Modernization Program

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GAO/T-RCED-00-229

NATIONAL AIRSPACE SYSTEM

Problems Plaguing the Wide Area Augmentation System and FAA's Actions to
Address Them Statement of Gerald L. Dillingham Associate Director,
Transportation Issues, Resources, Community, and Economic Development
Division

United States General Accounting Office

GAO Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Aviation, Committee on

Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives

For Release on Delivery Expected at 9: 30 a. m. EDT Thursday June 29, 2000

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 1 Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

I am pleased to be here today to discuss the Federal Aviation
Administration's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)- a key effort under
the agency's multibillion- dollar program to modernize the nation's air
traffic control system. Today, FAA relies primarily on a ground- based
navigation system to assist pilots in flying their assigned routes and to
provide them with the guidance they need to safely land their aircraft in
all kinds of weather. However, FAA's current navigation system is aging and
limited in its geographic coverage. Therefore, FAA is planning a transition
from its ground- based system to a new satellite- based navigation system
using radio signals generated by the Global Positioning System (GPS). The
Department of Defense developed GPS to support military missions and
functions. However, the system is now a dual- use system, and other users-
pilots, truckers, and boaters- rely on signals from the GPS satellites to
calculate their time, speed, and position anywhere on or above the earth's
surface. With its new navigation system, 1 FAA expects to improve the safety
of flight operations, allow the fuel- efficient routing of aircraft, and
eventually phase out most of its existing groundbased navigation aids.

FAA estimated that its future investment in the new navigation system could
exceed $8 billion from 2000 through 2020. The cost of developing WAAS- the
largest component of this system- has increased by over $500 million,
primarily because of unanticipated development costs and additional program
support costs. In addition, WAAS has been delayed for over 3 years and has
experienced performance problems. As we have previously reported, FAA has
historically experienced major difficulties in delivering modernization
projects within cost, schedule, and performance parameters. The WAAS program
has been no exception.

1 We refer to the augmented satellite navigation system and its components-
including the Local Area Augmentation System and existing ground- based
navigation aids- as FAA's new navigation system. Also, throughout this
statement, unless otherwise specified, costs are presented in “then-
year- dollars,” which are current dollars, inflated using Office of
Management and Budget guidance.

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 2 My statement today- primarily based on a recently
issued report 2 -will focus on (1)

difficulties in developing WAAS, (2) actions FAA is taking to get the system
on track, and (3) next steps for FAA to take to help mitigate future delays
in implementing WAAS. In reviewing the WAAS program, we interviewed FAA
officials, examined studies, and spoke with experts in aviation navigation
and related technologies to obtain their views on the capability of FAA's
new navigation system.

In summary:

 From very early on, FAA has underestimated the complexity of developing
WAAS, which has led to cost increases and schedule delays. For example, in
1994, FAA estimated that it would cost $508 million to develop WAAS and
promised to begin implementing the system by 1997. The agency did not
deliver on this promise, in part because of an aggressive schedule, which
proved difficult to meet when the agency ran into problems in developing the
WAAS design. These problems, in turn, led to the need for more software
development. FAA is again experiencing difficulties- mainly because of
problems in meeting the system's key integrity requirement- that WAAS would
virtually never fail to warn pilots of potentially hazardous misleading
information. As a result, we estimate that the agency will not deliver on
its initial promises until 2003 and may incur additional costs of between
$200 million to $240 million. Even though FAA's analyses have shown the
quantified benefits of WAAS outweigh the costs, problems with the integrity
requirement make this conclusion less certain.

 To get the program back on track, FAA is taking a number of actions.
First, consistent with federal legislation related to information technology
investments, the agency is taking a more incremental approach and in doing
so is abandoning its highrisk approach of combining different phases of
system development in an effort to more quickly implement systems. The
agency is also planning to develop

2 See National Airspace System: Persistent Problems in FAA's New Navigation
System Highlight Need for Periodic Reevaluation( GAO/ RCED/ AIMD- 00- 130,
June 12, 2000).

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 3 “checkpoints” at which it will
reevaluate WAAS development before making

additional investments. Second, FAA is working more collaboratively with the
aviation community- airlines, equipment manufacturers, and the Department of
Defense- instead of making unilateral decisions about the WAAS design.
Finally, to address the integrity problem, the agency is currently
participating in a team effort with its contractors and consultants to
recommend solutions that will prove the system's integrity performance by
the end of 2000.

 While FAA's actions go a long way toward helping the agency implement
WAAS, we believe that additional steps are necessary to ensure that FAA puts
into place a framework to mitigate future delays and cost increases. To this
end, as we recommended in our June 2000 report, FAA will need to develop a
comprehensive plan that incorporates the future checkpoints for the agency's
investment in its new navigation system. It will be critical for this plan
to require FAA to revisit its investment if WAAS cannot perform as intended.
Furthermore, to provide the Congress with assurances that the agency has
addressed these problems, we also recommended that an external organization
evaluate the agency's progress at established checkpoints. The result of
this external evaluation should be included in FAA's request for future
funding of the new navigation system. FAA generally agreed with our
recommendations, and we expect the agency to implement them.

Background

In the 1980s, FAA decided to augment GPS with other navigational aids- WAAS
and the Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) to satisfy civil aviation
requirements. However, at this time, civil aviation relies principally on a
ground- based navigation system that uses various types of equipment to
provide navigation and landing services to pilots in different types of
weather. This equipment meets FAA's performance

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 4 requirements for accuracy, integrity, and
availability; 3 however, it is aging and has

limitations in its geographic coverage. Although the Department of Defense
developed GPS to support military missions and functions, it is now a dual-
use system that other users, such as pilots and boaters, rely on to
calculate their time, speed, and position anywhere on or above the earth's
surface. 4 Last month, in an effort to make GPS more useful to civilians,
Defense ceased its practice of intentionally degrading the accuracy of the
GPS signal available for civil use. 5 Even with the improvements in accuracy
and other planned Defense improvements, GPS will not satisfy all civil
aviation requirements for ensuring safe aircraft operations.

WAAS, a key FAA information technology project, 6 is being designed to
provide the same level of service as today's ground- based equipment and is
expected to support navigation through all phases of flight as well as
nonprecision and category I precision landing approaches for a wider
geographic area. 7 When fully developed, WAAS could comprise a network of up
to 76 ground stations and three to four geostationary communications
satellites. (See fig. 1 for an illustration of the WAAS operating system.)
As part of its

3 FAA defines accuracy as the degree to which a navigation system calculates
an aircraft's true position. Integrity is the ability of a navigation system
to provide timely warnings when its signal is providing misleading
information that could potentially create hazards for pilots and thus should
not be used. Availability is the probability that a navigation system meets
the accuracy and integrity requirements.

4 The Department of Defense operates 24 orbiting GPS satellites to ensure a
basic configuration of 24 working satellites at any given time for both
military and civilian use. Replacement satellites will be launched as
needed. These GPS satellites are positioned so that at any given time the
signals from a minimum of four satellites will be available to users.

5 In the past, the Department degraded the accuracy of the GPS signal using
a process known as “selective availability.” 6 The air traffic
control modernization effort includes over 50 information technology
projects- the software- intensive and complex information and communication
systems supporting the air traffic control system.

7 Navigation guidance is provided to pilots through all phases of flight- at
high altitudes and in areas close to airports. In a nonprecision approach,
the pilot relies on instruments on board the aircraft to guide it safely
from a height ranging from between 700 and 400 feet above touchdown. In
contrast, in a category I precision approach, the pilot relies on
instruments to provide an aircraft with safe vertical guidance to a height
of not less than 200 feet above touchdown.

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 5 augmentation of GPS, FAA, in partnership with
industry, 8 is also developing LAAS to

support, among other things, even more stringent precision approach guidance
than expected from WAAS. 9

Figure 1: The Operating System for WAAS

Wide Area Augmentation System

WAAS Signal

Ground Earth Station

Master Station

Integrity Accuracy Availability

Reference Station Geostationary

Satellltes Satellites

Alaska Hawaii

San Juan

WAAS Signal

Geostationary Communication

Satellltes

Source: FAA.

Although FAA's original plans call for phasing out almost all of its ground-
based navigation infrastructure, FAA now plans to retain about 30 percent of
it ground- based

8 Beginning is fiscal year 1999, FAA established a partnership with
interested commercial entities for the purpose of developing LAAS. FAA
expects this partnership to culminate in the development of a certified
category I precision approach using LAAS by the end of fiscal year 2002.

9 LAAS is expected to provide pilots with safe vertical instrument guidance
to heights ranging from less than 200 feet to down to the runway surface.
While LAAS is independent of WAAS, it is also expected to complement WAAS
and provide precision approaches at airports where WAAS does not provide
sufficient geographic coverage.

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 6 system to address concerns about the vulnerability
of the GPS signal, which WAAS relies

on, and to support those users who choose not to purchase the equipment that
must be used with WAAS. Both WAAS and LAAS would require airlines and
general aviation users to purchase on- board equipment for receiving signals
from this new technology. These purchases are expected to occur over time,
as the new navigation system is developed.

WAAS and LAAS are being developed under a single FAA integrated product
team, which includes representatives from FAA's aircraft certification and
acquisition organizations. FAA established integrated teams to help ensure
that systems are developed and implemented in an efficient and effective
manner. These teams are to be empowered to make decisions affecting systems
and services, from their inception to their eventual disposal or
termination. The effective operation of the integrated teams is key to FAA's
goal of producing timely, cost- effective acquisitions.

FAA Underestimated the Complexity of Developing WAAS, Which Led to Program
Delays and Cost Increases

FAA's effort to augment the GPS signal has run into problems similar to
those that have plagued other modernization projects. For example, WAAS
implementation was delayed by 3 years, in part because of the ambitious
nature of the schedule- developing, testing, and deploying the system within
28 months. FAA is still experiencing development problems, which could delay
the program by an additional 3 years. A common theme throughout FAA's system
implementation efforts is the agency's tendency to underestimate the
complexity of development tasks.

Aggressive Schedule Proved Difficult to Meet In 1994, at the urging of
government and aviation industry groups, FAA accelerated implementation of
the WAAS milestones from 2000 to 1997, and it projected that it would begin
providing initial capability for precision guidance (category 1 approaches)
through

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 7 WAAS by June 1997. 10 In a 1995 report, 11 we
expressed our concern that the accelerated

schedule was ambitious and that potential problems could affect the system's
development. In particular, we noted that FAA's commitment to an accelerated
schedule was challenging because it would not provide enough time for the
agency to complete all of the necessary steps to implement the system. This
proved to be true when FAA ran into difficulties with its plan to implement
the system in a 28- month period. From May 1995 through September 1997, FAA
planned that the contractor would develop and implement the system, and the
agency would accept and commission it. However, this schedule allowed little
time for system acceptance and commissioning because software development
alone was expected to take 24 to 28 months.

Delays Continue Because of Software Development and Integrity Issues FAA is
still having trouble meeting WAAS' implementation milestones- in part
because of difficulties in developing software and proving the integrity
requirement. Regarding software development, in January 1999, FAA slipped
the schedule for the initial WAAS capability by 14 months- from July 1999 to
September 2000- largely because of problems in developing the WAAS design,
which led to the need for more software development. Given past problems and
the complexity of the remaining development efforts, we believe that FAA
will continue to experience delays. For example, FAA estimates that for WAAS
to meet its full capability, the contractor will need to develop about
370,000 or more additional lines of code on top of the 350,000 already under
development. 12 According to FAA, the additional lines of code will be
needed to, among other things, provide for the security of the system and to
expand its operating

10 WAAS' initial capability was defined as vertical guidance of 200 feet
above touchdown with a one- half to three- fourths mile visibility and a 19.
2 meter vertical protection limit in which an aircraft can maneuver and
still land safely. This capability was to be available 95 percent of the
time to about 50 percent of the continental United States.

11 See National Airspace System: Comprehensive FAA Plan for Global
Positioning System Is Needed (GAO/ RCED- 95- 26, May 10, 1995). 12 Software
size is usually measured in lines of code. A line of code is a set of
instructions for the computer to perform a certain task and is one basis for
estimating costs for items such as coding, analysis, design, and tests
efforts required for producing the line of code.

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 8 capability. Software development- the most critical
component of key FAA

modernization programs- has been the Achilles' heel of FAA's efforts to
deliver programs on time and within budget. 13

As for the integrity issue, in December 1999, FAA found that the WAAS design
could not be relied upon to satisfy the agency's requirement for system
integrity for precision approaches. FAA's integrity requirement stipulates
that WAAS cannot fail to warn pilots of misleading information that could
potentially create hazardous situations more than once in 10 million
approaches. Consequently, FAA has determined that it will not make its
scheduled date of September 2000 to begin providing an initial capability
for precision guidance through WAAS. The delay could have implications for
FAA, system users, and equipment manufacturers. For example, FAA may need to
buy new ground- based navigation equipment or maintain existing equipment
longer than expected- maintaining existing equipment costs about $170
million annually, according to FAA. Likewise, system users and equipment
manufacturers could question the wisdom of making further investments in
WAAS technology. Because of these implications, FAA, with users' support,
has decided to provide only a limited precision guidance capability with
WAAS by 2002. 14 FAA has yet to determine when WAAS will achieve its initial
capability. Using information provided by FAA and its experts, we estimate
that resolving the integrity problem could potentially delay making WAAS'
initial capability available by 3 years or more and add approximately $200
million to $240 million to the cost of developing WAAS. (See app. I for more
changes to WAAS development cost, schedules, and requirements for precision
approaches.)

13 See Air Traffic Control: Immature Software Acquisition Processes Increase
FAA System Acquisition Risks( GAO/ AIMD- 97- 47, Mar. 21, 1997). 14 By 2002,
FAA plans to provide vertical guidance of 350 feet above touchdown with 1-
mile visibility and a 50 meter vertical protection limit in which an
aircraft can maneuver and still land safely. This capability is to be
available 95 percent of the time to about 75 percent of the continental
United States.

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 9 The difficulties in proving the integrity
requirement have occurred largely because

 FAA management and the integrated product team underestimated the
complexity of resolving the integrity issue- failing to recognize the
seriousness of the problem.

 FAA did not closely monitor the contractor's effort to demonstrate
integrity. Although a WAAS study group informed FAA that it would be
difficult to prove WAAS' stringent requirements in October 1997, it was
nearly 2 years later, in September 1999, when the aircraft certification
members of the integrated product team became actively involved and the
agency fully understood the difficulty in proving the requirement.
Furthermore, the contractor did not deliver detailed plans for addressing
the integrity issue in a timely manner.

 Integrated product team members did not have a clear understanding of
their roles; consequently, members did not effectively communicate with each
other and the contractor.

FAA officials acknowledged that it should have paid attention to the
integrity issue sooner and offered these reasons for the delay: (1)
competing priorities between organizations on the integrated product team
hindered the team's approach to meeting the agency's WAAS goals; 15 (2) a
shortage of in- house technical expertise and the team's attention to other
important issues, such as system design; and (3) the lack of a sufficiently
defined agency process for identifying and conveying to the contractor the
results that would be acceptable for proving WAAS' integrity. The lack of
monitoring and poor communications have been recurring problems in FAA's air
traffic control modernization program. For example, in 1996, we reported
that inadequate oversight of

15 According to FAA's senior management, this situation may have developed
because FAA's aircraft certification organization is more accustomed to
being involved after a project is developed, rather than actively
participating throughout its development. As we reported in 1996, FAA's
product teams have not always forged true partnerships across organizational
“stovepipes.” See Aviation Acquisition: A Comprehensive Strategy
is Needed for Cultural Change at FAA( GAO/ RCED- 96- 159, Aug. 22, 1996).

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 10 contractors' performance was a major contributor to
FAA's recurring cost, schedule, and

performance problems with other projects in the modernization program. 16

Actions FAA Is Taking to Help Ensure WAAS Success

To get the WAAS program on track, the agency is taking a number of steps.
First, FAA has decided to take a more incremental approach to implementing
the new navigation system- focusing more on the successful completion of
research and development before starting system deployment. In doing this,
the agency is attempting to build discipline into the acquisition management
process. This action is consistent with a key goal of the Clinger- Cohen
Act, which encourages agencies to have processes and information in place to
help ensure that information technology projects are being implemented at
acceptable costs and within reasonable and expected time frames and are
contributing to tangible, observable, improvements in mission performance.
Second, FAA is working on a continuing basis with system users to ensure
that their needs are understood and considered during system development.
Finally, the agency has established a team consisting of FAA officials, its
contractors, and consultants to find solutions to the system's integrity
problems.

FAA Is Taking a More Incremental Approach to WAAS Development FAA
acknowledges that the manner in which it decided to implement WAAS
development was a high- risk approach and was the primary issue underlying
the system's problems. According to FAA, the agency agreed on a system
design and set milestones for system deployment before completing the
research and development required to prove the system's capability. As we
have reported for other FAA modernization projects, when the agency attempts
to combine different phases of system development in an effort to more
quickly implement systems, it repeatedly experiences

16 See Aviation Acquisition: A Comprehensive Strategy is Needed for Cultural
Change at FAA( GAO/ RCED96- 159, Aug. 22, 1996).

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 11 major performance shortfalls, which lead to delays
and additional costs. 17

Recognizing the problem, FAA is in the process of implementing a new
approach to developing WAAS. Under this approach, before making additional
investments, FAA has indicated that it plans to allow time for collecting
and evaluating data on (1) system performance, (2) the extent to which users
have purchased equipment, and (3) the availability of emerging new
technologies for the new navigation system. In essence, FAA plans to
reevaluate WAAS at critical “checkpoints” in its development.

FAA Is Working Collaboratively With System Users To FAA's credit, it has
been working collaboratively with aviation users and industry groups since
at least early 1999 to discuss alternative approaches to the new navigation
system and ways to make a smooth transition from the existing to the new
system. For example, the Satellite Navigation Users Group- which includes
representatives from commercial, general aviation, and Department of Defense
users- was created to achieve consensus throughout the user community and
within FAA for making the transition to the new navigation system. FAA has
held a number of meetings with this group as well as other users to seek
their input and support. For example, in March 2000, FAA held a satellite
navigation summit to update users on WAAS' performance concerns and to
obtain users' buy- in on revised system deliverables. It was in this forum
that the Satellite Navigation Users Group reaffirmed its support for WAAS.
This new approach represents a change from the past, when FAA tended to make
decisions unilaterally, without user input.

17 See Air Traffic Control: Observations on FAA's Air Traffic Control
Modernization Program( GAO/ TRCED/ AIMD- 99- 137, Mar. 25, 1999).

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 12 FAA Has Established a Team of Satellite Navigation
Specialists to Resolve WAAS'

Integrity Problems To resolve WAAS' integrity problems, FAA has established
a team of satellite navigation specialists known as the WAAS Integrity
Performance Panel. This team, which includes representatives from FAA, the
Mitre Corporation, Stanford University, Ohio University, and the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, was created to improve the calculations for better
identifying potentially hazardous information- thereby proving the system's
integrity performance. While the team is not expected to complete all of its
work until the end of 2000, it expects to have preliminary results by July.
This should enable FAA to continue system development so that limited
operating capabilities can be provided in calendar year 2002. Furthermore,
according to an FAA official, the agency has established an Independent
Review Board, which is independent of the panel and includes experts in
satellite navigation, safety certification, and radio spectrum policy, to
oversee the panel and the soundness of its efforts.

Next Steps to Help Mitigate Future Delays in Implementing WAAS

While the actions that FAA has undertaken have the potential to address the
current problems, additional steps are needed to help mitigate future delays
in implementing WAAS. For example, a comprehensive plan to implement WAAS
and progress reports would provide FAA, users, and the Congress with a
mechanism to monitor progress. In addition, senior management support for
the integrated product team concept is critical to help ensure the
successful implementation of future modernization projects while avoiding
the pitfalls experienced by WAAS.

FAA Needs a More Concrete Implementation Plan, and the Congress Needs WAAS
Progress Reports to Make Funding Decisions

In the past, FAA has undertaken initiatives without paying attention to
factors critical to achieving the desired results, such as an evaluation
plan to measure progress. We see a

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 13 potential for repetition of this pattern. For
example, FAA talks about establishing

checkpoints to ensure progress and the appropriate use of funds, but it has
not developed a detailed plan explaining when these checkpoints would occur,
what they would accomplish, who would be responsible for overseeing them,
and how progress would be measured. Therefore, in our June 2000 report, 18
we recommended that FAA develop a comprehensive plan to provide the
framework for the agency's future investments in its new navigation system.
Furthermore, our past reviews of FAA's efforts to develop systems show that
the agency does not always inform the Congress in a timely fashion of
problems it is encountering before requesting additional funds. To this end,
we recommended that an external organization evaluate the agency's progress
at these checkpoints and include the results of this evaluation in the
agency's request for future funding of the new navigation system. FAA
generally agreed with our recommendations, and we expect the agency to
implement them.

FAA Senior Management Needs to Fully Support the Integrated Product Team
Concept A key role of the integrated product team is to help ensure the
efficient and effective development and implementation of FAA systems
through cross- functional agency interaction. However, the lack of attention
by FAA's senior management to ensuring that the team was functioning
properly appears to be a major reason it has not worked as intended for
WAAS. To this end, we believe that program success will only come about if
senior FAA management embraces and fully supports the integrated product
team concept. Otherwise, more projects may experience the same problems WAAS
has encountered. For WAAS, senior management will need to establish an on-
going process for the team to reach consensus on how the contractor must
demonstrate that a project meets the agency's performance requirements and
to convey this information to the contractor.

_____ 18 See National Airspace System: Persistent Problems in FAA's New
Navigation System Highlight Need for Periodic Reevaluation( GAO/ RCED/ AIMD-
00- 130, June 12, 2000).

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 14 Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I will
be happy to answer any questions that

you or Members of the Subcommittee may have.

Contacts and Acknowledgments

For future contacts regarding this testimony, please contact Gerald L.
Dillingham at (202) 512- 2834. Individuals making key contributions to this
testimony include Jennifer Clayborne, Pete Maristch, Belva Martin, and John
Noto.

GAO/ T- RCED- 00- 229 15 Appendix I

Changes to WAAS Development Costs, Schedules, and Requirements for Precision
Approaches, June 1994 Through June 2000

Dollars in millions

Year Estimated

development costs Initial

capability Requirement for precision approaches Full

capability Requirement for precision approaches

1994 $508 6/ 97 Precision approach capability was for a 19.2 meter Vertical
Protection Limit, with 95% availability, throughout 50% of the continental
U. S. In the best case, this would provide Category I precision approach
minimums (200 feet height above touchdown and  mile visibility,  mile with
approach lights).

12/ 00 Precision approach capability was for a 19.2 meter Vertical
Protection Limit, with 99. 9% availability, throughout 100% of the total
National Airspace System. In the best case, this would provide Category I
precision approach minimums (200 feet height above touchdown and  mile
visibility,  mile with approach lights). 1/ 98 $1,007 a 7/ 99 Same as June
1994 12/ 01 Same as June 1994 1/ 99 $1,007 9/ 00 Same as June 1994 To be

determined Same as June 1994

9/ 99 $2,484 b 9/ 00 Same as June 1994 12/ 06 Same as June 1994 6/ 00 $2,724
c 12/ 02 Limited precision approach

capability to 50 meters Vertical Protection Limit, with 95% availability,
throughout 75% of the continental US. In the best case, this would provide
vertically guided approach to at around a 350 feet height above touchdown
and 1 mile visibility.

To be determined To be determined

Note: Since 1996, FAA has been including life- cycle costs, which include
costs for developing, operating, and maintaining projects. The current life-
cycle cost estimate for WAAS is about $3.2 million.

a The Jan. 1998 program development costs for WAAS include the prime
contractor costs, development of standards and procedures, technical
engineering and program support, and the first year of costs for satellites.
A primary reason for the cost growth between June 1994 and January 1998 was
due to unanticipated development costs to build greater reliability into the
WAAS ground component.

b The Sept. 1999 estimate for WAAS development includes $1.3 billion in
satellite service acquisition through 2020. In earlier estimates, satellite
service acquisition costs were included in the cost of operating WAAS. c GAO
estimated the increase between the Sept. 1999 and June 2000 on the basis of
information provided by FAA and its experts. We estimate that to meet the
June 1994 performance expectation for initial WAAS could add up to $240
million to the cost of developing WAAS and potentially take 3 years or more
beyond Sept. 2000.

(348243)

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